‘Film Analysis with Korean Examples’ (Winter semester 2022/23)

The aim of the course is to acquire basic tools and theories for film analysis. In addition to examples from European and US cinema, some examples from South Korean cinema are also used in the individual lessons.

‘International Youth in South Korea: Education, Work, and Life’ (Winter semester 2022/23)

This seminar deals with the migration of youth and young adults to South Korea in the context of education and work. In addition to the various opportunities for education and work in South Korea (exchange programs, trainee programs, working holiday programs), aspects of tourism, such as tourist (video) blogs by young travelers, and relevant government policies are also considered. These issues are discussed against the background of South Korea's conception of globalization and diversity. The seminar also aims to show students the heterogeneity of international youth in South Korea.

‘Korean Migration in the South’ (Winter semester 2022/23)

This course examines both theoretical concepts and empirical case studies relating to Korean migrants living in the Southern Hemisphere as well as in developing countries in the so-called ‘Global South’: i.e., mostly low-income and often politically or culturally marginalized regions outside Western Europe and North America.

Associated with the theoretical concepts of international migrations and diasporas, the course analyses these Korean communities from a comparative perspective, within the broader themes of their migration history; settlement patterns, modes of adaptation and integration into the host society; identity changes; transnational lifestyles; relationships with their host societies and ethnic homelands; and recent trends in international migration, such as tourism mobility, lifestyle migration and education migration. By exploring the historical, cultural, social, and political aspects of Korean migrants in the Southern Hemisphere and the Global South, the course aims to enhance students’ understanding of the cultural and social transformations undergone by these Korean communities and their connections with Korea and the host countries in the South.

‘South Korea’s Relations with Japan’ (Winter semester 2022/23)

The seminar examines South Korea’s relations with Japan at political, economic, cultural, historical, and civil society levels. The aim of this seminar is to understand the complexities of their bilateral relationships, including conflicts, cooperation, and exchanges by diverse actors.

‘Migration in Korea and Korean Immigration in the World: History and Social Challenges’ (Summer semester 2022/23)

This seminar offers a comprehensive exploration of the history of migration in South Korea and Korean immigration around the world. The course is divided into two sections. In the first section, it will examine the backgrounds of immigration and recent trends and issues in skilled migration in Korea. It will also analyze the social, cultural, and political discourses and challenges related to migration in Korea. The latter section will focus on the experiences of Korean immigrants and diaspora in Germany, Japan, and New Zealand, including their identities, belonging, integration, discrimination, and well-being. This seminar is designed for students who are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of migration in Korea and Korean immigration globally.

‘Understanding Korean Society through Korean Literary Film Adaptations’ (‘한국 문예영화를 통한 한국 사회의 이해’) (Summer semester 2022/23)

The project Understanding Korean Society through Literary Film Adaptations is an e-learning course of the Department of Korean Studies at the University of Hamburg and was created in the wake of the pandemic-related restrictions on face-to-face teaching. It comprises seven episodes on the broad topic of (South) Korean adaptations of text- and image-based cultural artifacts to complement the teaching of Korean Studies in Hamburg. The respective videos are a hybrid mixture of lecture, lecture, experts’ interviews, and student analysis and video essays. The student video essays were created in the context of the project-accompanying seminar ‘Understanding Korean Society through Literary Film Adaptations’ in the summer semester 2021 and in the seminar ‘The Representation of Women in South Korean Film’ in the winter semester 21/22.

Modernisation and Globalisation in Modern Korean History (Summer semester 2022)

In this seminar developments in modern Korea induced by internal and external influences are analysed. 

Traditional Media in Korea (Summer semester 2022)

This course analyses how specific topics are depicted in film, television and other 'traditional' media outlets.

Art and Diplomacy - Korean Objects in European Collections. A search for traces  (Summer semester 2022)

Based on a research project at the University of Hamburg since December 2020, students will be intrduced to the two Hamburg collections of Korean art and explore the following issues: How can the origin of objects from museums be traced nowadays? Which means and methods help to do so? How can data be collected digitally and made usable for future research but also for the public? Students learn methods and approaches of art history and provenance research as well as current projects of the Digital Humanities.

Korean Studies: Discipline and Research (Summer semester 2022)

The course address Korean Studies as a scholarly discipline as well as various research trends from the field. Development of the subject are examined and the influences of political and social developments on research in the subject are analyzed. 

Korean Theatre Today (Summer semester 2022)

The seminar offers an overview of current theater practice in Korea as well as internationally, with a special focus on guest performances and collaborations in or with Germany. 

Issues in the Two Koreas Today (Summer semester 2022)

The goal of this course is to help students better understand the main issues and challenges faced by contemporary society in the two Koreas, by employing interdisciplinary perspectives, theories and concepts of sociology, anthropology, history, and political science.

Contemporary Politics in South Korea (MEAS Elective) (Summer semester 2022)

The course offers an introduction to the political dynamics of contemporary South Korea in the framework of democratization theory. Topics include the political discourse of democratizing South Korea, political and societal cleavages, personalised politics and regionalism. The key democratic institutions, political parties, civil society and the Constitutional Court are covered, followed by a closer analysis of citizens’ political activities outside these institutions, namely online and in the streets. This course aims to provide the students with the knowledge to place current events into the broader context of democratizing and modernizing Korea.

Confucianism and Korean Philosophy (E-School) (Summer semester 2022)

Introductory course for understanding Korean Philosphy.

The politics of the body and sexuality in Korea (Winter semester 2021/22)

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding on the politics of body and sexuality in Korean society in which there exist a mixture of traditional and modern aspects exist. The diverse aspects and the gendered structure of the issues of male and female bodies and sexuality will be examined. Topics to be discussed in the course include: concept of body in Confucianism, body related technology, public health, aesthetic surgery, masculinity, reproduction, LGBT, prostitution and sexual violence.

Preparation course for Korean language study (Winter semester 2021/22)

The introductory course is aimed at students who begin their studies without any prior knowledge of Korean. In this preparatory course, students learn to read and write the Korean alphabet.

E-School: North-Korean popular culture (Winter semester 2021/22)

This course aims to offer an opportunity to deconstruct the common understanding of North Korea and to get to know diverse facets of North Korea, that is, its culture, people and their everyday lives. This course covers mainly North Korean culture and the people’s life in the basis of more accurate and balanced information and perspective. This course introduces extensive information and insights about North Korean culture and the everyday life of North Koreans through readings and lecture.

Middle power Korea - Responsible member of the international community (Winter semester 2021/22)

In many areas of international and regional politics, South Korea has achieved the status of a respected actor that is actively involved in the design and enforcement of institutions within the framework of global governance. At the same time, there are a number of dilemmas whose solution poses major challenges for South Korea's politics, economy and society. On the one hand, this includes the regional East Asian context, which crystallizes in the debates about the relationship with China, the historically charged relationship with Japan and how to deal with the de facto nuclear power North Korea. On the other hand, South Korea's global integration has led to the country being engaged in various trans and international relations. In addition, the regional and international levels, as well as the national context, are more or less closely interrelated. In the seminar the different developments since the founding of South Korea will be traced and, with a focus on the 6th Republic, suitable theoretical approaches for a more detailed investigation will be introduced.

Korean migrations and diaspora (Winter semester 2021/22)

A great number of Koreans live beyond the borders of North and South Korea. The course uses the case study of the Korean diaspora as a prism to understand the process of identity formation and transformation in various regions. Ethnic Koreanness beyond the Korean peninsula, specifically in Europe, the Global South, Asia, North America, and the former USSR will be examined. The course introduces and discusses some key concepts such as methodological nationalism, transnational migration, diaspora, citizenship and model minority to understand the identities and experiences of ethnic Koreans overseas.

Diversity in Korean media discourse (Winter semester 2021/22)

In this seminar, media representation of different migrant groups in South Korea are analyzed. Students are introduced to different media analysis techniques and will apply them to selected media types (newspaper articles, variety shows, news broadcast, etc.).

Korean Literary Screen Adaptations II (Summer semester 2021)

In the history of South Korean film, literary adaptations have remained popular among viewers to the present day. President Park Chung-hee particularly promoted literary adaptations due, among other things, to their identity-forming function. The focus is not only on this era, but also on examples from all filmmaking in Korea, which also include newer forms of literary adaptations such as the cinematic implementation of webtoons and graphic novels. On the one hand, the event is dedicated to the question of the possibilities of cinematic implementation of literary templates. On the other hand, the films are also viewed according to their popularity with regard to the aesthetic and political contexts, narratives and recurring topoi that provide information about the zeitgeist of Korean society. In addition to the intertextual, intermedial aspects of filming, transmedial aspects of storytelling will also be a topic.

Rulers and power relations in pre-modern Korea (Summer semester 2021)

This course introduces students to the politics of the rulers of Joseon-Dynasty and power relations among yangban factions.

Nation and nationalism in modern Korea (Summer semester 2021)

This seminar gives an introduction to the concepts of Korean nationalism and national identity. Taking a look at causes, developments and inherent difficulties

Family and Gender: Reading and Analyzing Korean Webtoon (Summer semester 2021)

The aim of this course is to understand Webtoon as a new form of media on the internet in the context of new cultural practices in South Korea and to evaluate its cultural significance. Students will read online cartoons in Korean language - mainly about gender issues in the family - and analyze the contents and the new media form.

E-School: Urbanization and City Life in South Korea (Summer semester 2021)

South Korea has undergone a breath-taking course of social-, cultural-, and economic transformations in the recent past. The country underwent subsequent transitions from the Joseon dynasty to the Japanese Occupation, the Independence and the devastating Korean war, the period of modernization and rapid economic growth, which led to the technology driven highly technological society we experience today. The forces of modernization can be felt especially in cities, the centres of economic, political and cultural life. For example, the capital Seoul has undergone huge transition from being a predominantly administrative city during the Joseon dynasty towards being a major metropolis of global significance and established itself as an important international hub in the network of East Asian, today. The course illustrates the processes of urbanisation from an urban planning perspective and reflects upon the changes these entailed for the city life and their residents.


Diversity of Korea and Globalization (Summer semester 2021)

The aim of this module is 1) to understand and analyze the contemporary South Korean society through diversity discourse and practices in society and culture, policies 2) to evaluate cultural significance of diversity. Key texts and issues of sociocultural diversity of Korea with interdisciplinary and transnational approaches will be discussed.